First look Inside Alder Hey’s new Surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

First look Inside Alder Hey’s new Surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

First look Inside Alder Hey’s new Surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

18th Aug 2022

New Unit will be the first of its kind in the UK.

Designs for a new state-of-the-art surgical Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Alder Hey have been revealed today.

The new Unit will be the first of its kind in the country to provide Fi Care (Family Integrated Care) and will provide a safer service for babies. 

Under the Liverpool Neonatal Partnership, specialist neonatal staff from both Alder Hey and the Liverpool Women’s are working together to change and improve how neonatal services are delivered to families across the North West and provide the highest level of care for the most vulnerable babies in the region. This includes reducing the number of transfers of neonates between hospitals by 50%.

Jen Deeney, Head of Nursing for the Liverpool Neonatal Partnership said: “Keeping babies and their families together is so important for the early stages of a child’s development. Creating a specialist NICU on the Alder Hey site with family integrated care will ensure that new babies needing surgery can remain in one place with their parent or family members. The new Unit will also mean that our most vulnerable babies aren’t coming back and forth between hospitals for treatment. 

“We were really keen to design a Unit that would have parents/caregivers right at the heart of their new baby’s care; allowing them to work alongside our teams and continue to look after their baby while also giving new parents confidence to be independent care givers. This will be the first time in the UK Fi Care has been integrated into the design of a Neonatal Unit and our team are very excited.” 

One family who would have benefited from the new Unit are Baby Aditi's from Cheshire. 8 month old Aditi was admitted to Alder Hey for emergency gastro surgery after being transferred from the Countess of Chester Hospital. She was diagnosed with Necrotising Enterocolitis (NEC). 

NEC is a serious medical condition that can be life-threatening, where the bowel becomes inflamed and damaged, typically affecting children born before 37 weeks. It occurs in about 1 in 1,000 births. Aditi underwent surgery to remove 21cm of her intestine and to have two stomas formed. Seven weeks after her original operation, Aditi had closure surgery and was able to go home after making a full recovery. 

Aditi's mum Kathrine, who stayed away from the rest of the family at MAC house for six days a week during Aditi’s time in Alder Hey, says her daughter is doing ‘incredibly well’ and is enjoying time with her four year old brother at home.

Speaking on the new Surgical Neonatal Unit Kathrine said: “It would be of huge benefit. For a mother or primary carer to not have to worry about where to stay, expense and most of all not having to leave their child, will be a huge relief. The emotional stress leaves little room to organise things outside of what is going on inside your baby’s hospital room. Whether that be food, drinks, where you are sleeping and washing, even Wi-Fi connection to sort out anything that you need to online. The thought of leaving your child is awful. You want to be with them and care for them.”

Alongside 22 specialist neonatal cots and 18 integrated family rooms, the exciting new NICU will feature the latest technology, including Telehealth Medicine Robots enabling clinicians to monitor babies remotely. Together Alder Hey and Liverpool Women’s are developing innovative technologies to enhance the care and experience of babies and families on the Unit. This includes a neonatal tracking system; a wearable device worn around a parent’s wrist which sends out a signal allowing staff to know where the parent is in case of an emergency. 

Last year Alder Hey Children’s Charity launched a fundraising Appeal to raise £3m for ‘over and above’ enhancements to the new Unit. More information about the Appeal and to donate can be found at www.alderheycharity.org/surgical-neonatal-appeal  

The new Unit is targeted for completion in 2024. 

More information

The Liverpool Neonatal Partnership
Neonatal Families
Our Neonatal Appeal
« Return to Latest news
Alder Hey Children's Charity
Hide this section
Show/hide accessibility tools

Alder Hey Children's Charity